RICHARD O’Donnell has been transformed in City’s goal this season, according to Gary Bowyer.

The last-gasp loss to Forest Green was only the second time that O’Donnell has been beaten in the opening five League Two games.

It has been a confidence-restoring start for the keeper, whose position at Valley Parade came under huge scrutiny when Bowyer benched him for the final four games of the relegation campaign.

O’Donnell has drawn a line under a difficult first year after the changes that have taken place over the summer.

Bowyer has welcomed the turn-around in O’Donnell’s form – and believes that has coincided with installing John Vaughan as the club’s goalkeeping coach in pre-season.

The City chief said: “Richard has come back and looks a completely different goalkeeper to how he was last season.

“A lot of the credit for that has to go to John Vaughan, the new goalie coach, in terms of the demands he places on him.

“He’s had a real positive effect ever since he’s come in the building.”

The experienced Vaughan replaced Maik Taylor, who Bowyer had brought in on a short-term basis when he arrived at Valley Parade in March.

Before that, City had been without a keeper coach since Steve Banks had left earlier in the season.

Bowyer added: “To go through a period of time where there wasn’t one in such a specialist position is difficult.

“One of the first things I did when I got here was to appoint Maik Taylor and he did very well for us. He made a difference as well.

“But from day one when Vaughany has come in he has made a massive impact already.

“He’s got Sam Hornby really kicking on and Richard as well.

“I’m also delighted with how George (Sykes-Kenworthy) is going on up the road at Guiseley. The reports we’ve had back shows they’ve been pleased with him.

“He comes in and works on the basics when he’s not playing for Guiseley or training with him. So we’re still in touch with him and seeing how he’s progressing.

“The loan move is doing brilliantly for him. He’s coming out of his shell and you can see his character.”